State of the Union

White House: State of the Union To Have Optimistic Tone

Will reportedly say he will use executive powers if Congress does not act

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WHITE HOUSE — President Barack Obama delivers the State of the Union Address later Tuesday to a joint session of the U.S. Congress.  He will urge lawmakers to join him in steps to create jobs and narrow the gap between rich and poor, but will vow to use his executive powers if Congress does not act.

Obama and Congress face intense public skepticism about their ability to cooperate for the good of the economy.  Supporters and critics say this greatly limits his second term flexibility.

Although he has recovered slightly from last year's mishandled rollout of his signature health care reform law, Republicans will continue to use the issue against him in the run-up to November mid-term congressional elections.